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20questions

New member
Sep 11, 2019
4
0
I am new to blending my own pipe tobacco. I have smked lane bca for many years and thought i would like to try blending something comparable. I have purchased some latakia, perique, virginia, kentucky tenn dark leaf, fronto and fronto 1, african cameroon. Nothing that I have blended, whether cut and mixed, or pressed into a cake has not had a considerable bite to it. Need some knowledgeable help.
 

brooklynpiper

Member
May 8, 2018
251
27
Comparable to BCA?

Not going to happen with anything you have there I believe catdaddy.

Depending on the source for your blending leaf, you might have been given or expected to buy a few casing sprays to soften out the flavor and burn. They're often in whole leaf blending kits, but you may yet be without if you made those orders a la carte.

Don't give up. Welcome to the forums.
 

20questions

New member
Sep 11, 2019
4
0
Comparable to BCA?

Not going to happen with anything you have there I believe catdaddy.

Depending on the source for your blending leaf, you might have been given or expected to buy a few casing sprays to soften out the flavor and burn. They're often in whole leaf blending kits, but you may yet be without if you made those orders a la carte.

Don't give up. Welcome to the forums.
 

20questions

New member
Sep 11, 2019
4
0
I'm not sure I completely understand your reply. Are you saying I purchased inferior leaves? Why do you suggest buying a kit vs individual leaves? What are casing sprays? Thanks for your comments.
 

20questions

New member
Sep 11, 2019
4
0
Just as your quotes says my blending techniques are in the embers, i.e., nothing to brag about. My shredding and blending mixtures all have a severe bite to them in comparison to the lane bca that I have smoked for years.
 

brooklynpiper

Member
May 8, 2018
251
27
I'm not sure I completely understand your reply. Are you saying I purchased inferior leaves? Why do you suggest buying a kit vs individual leaves? What are casing sprays? Thanks for your comments.
No, but your leaves may be 'rawer' if you will. Depending on where you bought them, they may or may not have been prepared with different chemicals/compounds/casings. What you smoke out of tins or the bulk that hits market has undergone a fair amount of flavor alteration and I don't mean just curing and blending.
I didn't suggest either a kit or individual leaves. What I meant by "source" wasn't a quality statement--too wide a world for me to have an opinion on that--it was only that depending on how raw the tobacco you bought is it might be expected of you to be doing the casing spraying yourself. Example of what I'm talking about below.
Look here.
 

sumusfumus

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2017
349
4
Try a different blending strategy. Start with a commercially available mixture -blended by professionals- that you enjoy smoking. This will be your "base". Add some other blending tobaccos to the original base mixture and try smoking a few bowls with these addition(s). Blend only small amounts and keep notes... so your successes can be duplicated. I use empty pill bottles for my volume measurements. It's easy to make just a few bowlfuls of a new hybrid mixture.

If you like BCA, use that as your "base", and try adding other tobaccos to it. You'll eventually find a hybrid recipe that you'll enjoy smoking. Your "private-blend" can easily be scaled up by using containers having larger volumes, e.g. use a tea cup instead of a small pill bottle, or a combination of the two. If you have a weight-scale, use the scale to measure your tobaccos by weight....ounces; grams, etc. Keep accurate notes and critique your blending efforts.

Customizing a commercial/professional mixture is much cheaper than starting from scratch, and guessing the results. Blending tobaccos are expensive and mistakes are a costly waste. Adding additional tobaccos to a base blend, is a lot cheaper.

Add a full pill bottle of cigar-leaf or Perique, or Dark Fired Kentucky, or all three.... to a teacup full of BCA and try it out. Make notes. Vary the measurements. Try smoking it again. Get the idea?


Good luck.
 
Reactions: briarbuda48

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,890
80
I have no idea what BCA is... but there are other factors to consider when blending. As members of the "market" for ready blended tobaccos, we use an over-simplified classification for something that is less exact. For example, we use the term Virginia for all flu-cured brightleafs, but in the artisan processed pipe tobacco world, you cannot take a recipe that says to add Virginia and really know what they are adding. McClellands relied on certain farmers and their specific methods for decades, and this is why no one will ever be able to copy what they were able to do. Same with Burleys. With hundreds of Burley varieties, cured and processed in many different ways, what does it mean when a company says that they have a burley for sale to use in blending?

Not being familiar with BCA, I can't help you on that, but with just being able to play with these tobaccos sold as blending materials, you should be able to make something that you can enjoy.

Wait... I just looked up BCA. It's a cavendish. So, you are steaming and pressing the tobacco with different chemicals and flavorings?
 
Reactions: briarbuda48

badbeard

Member
Sep 9, 2017
140
10
Oregon, USA
The varieties of leaf you have chosen are all pretty in-your-face stout flavors. BCA is about as far in the opposite direction from what you've chosen as you can probably get.

Your best bet is to get some quality burley and use the cavendish process. To get anywhere in the same solar system as BCA, you are going to have to case it with something fairly heavy in vanilla.

I've used this gent's process for cavendish, and it works well:
Making Black Cavendish Pipe Tobacco - https://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/making-black-cavendish-pipe-tobacco.637/

As for casing, here's a recipe I use and you can modify it to get you started:

(Makes a Pint - you can reduce for smaller quantity). It's worth noting that I didn't come up with these ratios. I ripped this recipe off from Ernie over at Watch City and modified it for my own purposes. He gets all the credit.

2 Cups Water
2 Cups White Granulated Cane Sugar
1 1/2 TSP White Vinegar
Some quantity of Vanilla - start small, perhaps in the 1/4 tsp range if you are using extract and then adjust to taste. I would add this after simmering too, as heating vanilla extract for extended periods could do weird things to it. Preferably, use whole vanilla beans during the simmering process for the best flavor.

Simmer all ingredients for at least 10 minutes to ensure they are fully dissolved - also gives time to allow the sugar to invert to prevent re-crystalization.
Spray 1 oz of casing per pound of tobacco mix(or ~1.8ml per oz of tobacco if you are doing small test batches). Mix by hand while you are spraying to make sure it's even.

Hopefully that helps a little!
 
Reactions: briarbuda48

briarbuda48

Member
Jan 20, 2013
142
3
I use a digital scale and usually blend enough for just 6 bowls (18 grams). Small batches reduce potential waste and allow me to tweak several batches at once. After mixing I will let them sit as long as I can stand the wait, then smoke them.